40th Annual Spirit Run celebrates a winning event

The luck of the Irish brought sunny skies and a festive spirit to the 40th Annual Spirit Run on St. Patrick’s Day, held Sunday, March 17. Roughly 1,000 adults, children and canines registered to run or walk races, while CdM and Pegasus choir students, Estancia Cheer and the Corona del Mar Drumline and Jazz Band performed before and during their races. Elite athletes traveled from throughout Southern California and beyond to compete in the Elite Mile and 5k.

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Photo by Joe Katchka, KatchkaMoments Photography

Elite Milers…and they’re off

To celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, participants donned free, leprechaun-inspired decorative eyeglasses and headpieces. Adults received coupons for a .40 beer at Malarky’s in honor of Spirit Run’s 40th birthday and for a free appetizer at Muldoon’s. Some registrants competed in the Irish-themed costume contest for prizes donated by Malarky’s and The Lot.

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Photo by Joe Katchka, KatchkaMoments Photography

Runners with St. Patrick’s Day-inspired garb

Spirit Run appreciates the long-term support of many sponsors including the 5k Title Sponsor, the City of Newport Beach, Co-Sponsors Fashion Island, Fletcher Jones Motor Cars, Exchange Club of Newport Harbor, Regal Cinemas and the Daruty Family, along with Media Sponsor, Stu News Newport. Their support helps cover event expenses thereby maximizing donations to Spirit Run’s beneficiaries. A complete list of sponsors, including corporate, product, family and elite sponsors, can be found at www.newportspiritrun.org/sponsors.

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Photo by Nancy Thompson Photography

Winners of the Dog Mile – Brian Duff and Axl

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Photo by Nancy Thompson Photography

(L-R) Costume Contest judges former PBR Commissioner Laird Hayes (and his dog Louie), PBR Commissioner Keira Kirby, Councilmember Robyn Grant and PBR Commissioner Heather Ignatin with Spirit Run President and Race Director Diane Daruty and PBR Commissioner David Granoff (with his dog Jackson)

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Photo by Joe Katchka, KatchkaMoments Photography

State Assemblymember Diane Dixon starting the Adult 5k race with Spirit Run announcer Rudy Novotny

Also cherished was the enthusiastic participation of the City of Newport Beach. California Assemblymember and former Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon, Councilmember Robyn Grant and Chief Lifeguard Brian O’Rourke were race starters for the Adult 5k, Dog Mile and Youth Mile, respectively. Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commissioners Dave Granoff, Heather Ignatin, Keira Kirby and former Commissioner Laird Hayes judged the St. Patrick’s-themed costume contest. City expo presence included Camp Newport’s booth hosted by Recreation & Senior Services Director Sean Levin, Deputy Director Justin Schmillen and their team comprised of Brian Cordeiro, Molly Patience and Madeleine Gallardo. The Newport Beach Lifeguards’ booth was presented by Lifeguard Training Captain Gary Conwell.

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Photo by Nancy Thompson Photography

Eight-year-old Hawkins Foualdi gives a thumbs up to the Spirit Run

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Photo by Joe Katchka, KatchkaMoments Photography

Happy running siblings (L-R): Quinn, MJ and Zoe McKeirnan

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Photo by Nancy Thompson Photography

Marcek Family shared race day together

Spirit Run’s net proceeds will be donated to 11 local schools, youth sports programs, including Newport Beach Junior Guards and other causes, including ALS Hope for Peggy Fort. Visit www.newportspiritrun.org/donate-causes for all beneficiaries. Newport Mesa Spirit Run, Inc., the non-profit that presents Spirit Run, has or will be donating cash, entries and non-cash prizes valued at more than $20,000 as follows:

–$14,000 in cash to participating schools and causes.

–$1,000 in scholarships for event entry fees to underprivileged youth.

–$2,000 in free entries to elite athletes meeting strict qualifying times.

–$3,600 in cash awarded to elite competitors, courtesy of Spirit Run’s elite sponsors.

–106 non-cash prizes awarded to competitors, courtesy of Spirit Run’s product sponsors.

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Photo by Joe Katchka, KatchkaMoments Photography

Olympian and World Record Holder Steve Scott with tykes who enjoyed race day

The prizes were awarded during three awards presentations in the event expo. Olympian and World Record Holder Steve Scott for completing the most sub-4-minute miles, presented the awards and posed with recipients for photographs. Robyn Grant, Newport Beach Councilmember and Friends of Newport Beach board member, did the same for Dog Mile winners.

For more information, visit www.newportspiritrun.org.


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